ArchivedLogs:30 is Ancient
|30 is Ancient|
Kelly is dissuaded from putting up a vine escape, and instead discussion is of foxes and pie. (Part of Infected TP.)
<XS> School Grounds
The outer walls of the dorms have been no stranger to vine grown, moss, ivy, and the like in the past. What North Eastern mansion would be complete without it? However, the growth now working its way up the side of the building is anything but natural. The vine's main shoot is as big around as a boy's wrist, and every so often shoots off... steps? They were too regular and off sided to be anything else as it keeps creeping its way higher and higher to anchor itself by the assigned room of one Kelly Walsh on the second floor. And if the potted thorn bush next to the unnatural growth was any indication, its gardener wasn't quite done with the contraption yet.
Kelly sits on his knees next to the towering vine in his logo sweats, roots extending from his feet into the dirt while one of his hands is half melded to the growing vine. The creation seems to be taking quite a bit out of the boy, too, his complexion beginning to pale as he works on it, and sweat beading on his forehead.
With classes back in session and /all/ his family moved into the mansion, Jackson has been more /regularly/ around the building than in previous crisis-weeks. He looks less apocalyptic, more his usual colourful self; today he's dressed in black jeans laced corset-like up their outer seams, chunky black-and-yellow platform sneakers, a brightly cheerful rainbow hoodie over a yellow Little Miss Sunshine t-shirt. His eyepatch bears a glittery silver dragonfly, his nails stripey in black and yellow.
There's a small one-eyed beagle frisking along beside him; he's carrying a leash draped over his neck, a little tubular holder of plastic bags attached to its handle, but the dog is not on-leash at the moment. Obie starts darting his way towards Kelly as they approach, but returns to Jackson with a quick click of tongue; Jackson stops as he rounds the building, hands folding behind his back as he eyes the vines. Eyes Kelly. Eyes the vine again. "Y'know," he says, casual-light, "we clear off the vines that grow up the building every so often for a /reason/. Latch into the stone, make it all start t'crumble."
Classes back in session has seen a return to the somewhat scarcity of Mallory, between classes and tending to the functions of the Library. However, for now, she makes her way out from the building, still wearing the business-like attire she'd taught classes in - a charcoal gray pencil skirt with a neatly embroidered hem just below her knees, and a cream colored silk blouse buttoned part way over a gold colored camisol. The clothes seem a touch more draping and loose than normal. Tiny stud earrings glitter on her earlobes, and a solitaire on a thin gold chain rests just between her collar bones. A worn paperback is tucked under one arm, and a tightly sealed thermos is clutched in the other hand as she walks deliberately, apparently with a destination in mind.
The sight of the creeping vines and crouching student however, give her pause, as she regards the unusual sight. Diverting her course, she pauses a few steps away from Jax, shaking her head. She offers her coleage a nod of greeting, though her attention is still held by the fairly impressive plant growth. "Agreed. Masonry and climbing vines are rarely a good combination for long," she glances at Kelly and at the vine again, her tone gentle but vaguely exasperated.
Kelly ducks his head in defeat at the confrontation of not one, but two authority figures. He braced initially rather tightly, with a few inches of his bark spreading out defensively, expecting yelling or worse. But when the controlled tones come out instead he looks up again and sighs himself. "I didn't think about that." He admitted in what must be one of the more obvious thoughts in the world. The plant of course /stops/ growing. But Kelly is rather literally rooted in place so more than that is a bit difficult for the moment. "I didn't mean to hurt the building."
"Well, t'ain't probably a /lot/ of hurt just yet, just --" Jackson shrugs, waving his fingers towards the vine. Obie darts over towards Mallory, now, sniffing around the teacher's hooves with tail furiously wagging. "-- not good t'actually leave it there." His one-eyed gaze drops from the large vine growth back to Kelly, brows furrowing in mild concern. "Plus y'seem like s'kinda not doin' /you/ no favours, either," he adds with a slight tilt of his head. "-- What /was/ you meaning, with it?"
Mallory smirks, and eyes the vine, "I am more concerned with you harming yourself. From experience, vines in old masonry doesn't always support as much weight as you would think they would. The mortar gives out." She coughs slightly at the admission, and looking over the vine and its creator, lips drawn into a thin, concerned line. When Obie starts sniffing around at her ankles and tail, she actually freezes, looking entirely uncertain how to respond to the dog - instead just standing perfectly still for fear of stepping on him. She opens her mouth to start asking the same question Jax had posed, falling quiet instead and waiting for an answer to the question of intent.
Slowly Kelly lets the vine start to shrink again, and it is indeed a very slow process, letting go of the wall with little puffs of dust. "I... heard there were still things in the lake... and in the forest." When he mentions the forest, his hand goes to his side where green plant replaced pink flesh not too long ago. "I wanted something I could use to keep us safe if they came back." As he speaks the vine he's melded to starts to wrap around his shoulders as if it were a snake or a ferret. Then looking over his shoulder at Mallory. "And I didn't think about that either... that... wasn't a fat joke, though was it?" his last question /may/ have been a joke of his own.
"M'sor --" Jackson starts, but then just rubs his fist in a circle over his hand, and clicks his tongue to Obie again. "-- Obie, come. Sit. Leave Ms. Winthrop alone." The beagle sniffs at Mallory a second longer, but reluctantly returns to Jackson's side. Sitting obediently for -- about two seconds before he gets up to go nose at Kelly instead.
Jackson looks out towards the distant lake, running his fingers briefly through his hair. "Once in a while they do trickle out from town through the woods," he agrees. "We been keepin' constant watch on the grounds around the school, it'd be hard for any to get close, but there's a lotta woods an' water to patrol." His hand rubs against the back of his neck after scruffing through his hair, tongue wiggling at a lip ring. "Could y'try some sorta hedges instead? Or we could put up posts t'let you grow vines /on/ without attachin' them to the mansion proper."
Mallory winces at the question, scratching at the base of one of her horns and blushing, "Oh, heavens no. It was a jab at myself for attempting to climb out my bedroom window when I was younger. Broke my arm in the process when the vines couldn't hold me. And my leg the second time." She coughs, scratching at one bare calf with the opposite hoof, admitting sheepishly, "Climbing has never been my forte." Relaxing as Obie stops circling, Mallory looks apologetically at Jax, "It is alright. I just... haven't been around dogs in ages, and even then it was only hunting hounds. Thank you, though." She cants her head slightly at the idea of trellises, watching the movement of the vine curiously, "I imagine a trellis could be interesting. There are some interesting verticle gardening books I have found recently, if you wanted to make a project of it. Not necessarily as an escape route, but as practice? As long as it does not overly exhaust you." She then looks out towards the distance when Jackson mentions the zombies, a faint grimace on her features, her voice quiet, "Let me know if you need additional patrols. I... wish there was more I could do."
Eventually the one massive vine is little more than a scrawny thing wrapped around Kelly's shoulders and tummy, and he winces slightly as he pulls his hand off of it, and hides it from view from the teachers, the sore on it quite large on his palm for a project of that size. "Ouch... and OUCH." Kelly says as he listens to the tumbling account of the demon librarian. "Yeah, I guess I better just put George here back in the woods where he came from." He decides, but then OH LOOK PUPPY! Laughing he rocks back on his rear and reaches out a hand to try and pet the dog. "I know you guys are looking out for us and stuff, just... not used to anyone trying to do that. Always kinda... you know, if anyone was going to keep me safe it was going to be me. And..." then he blushed as he added: "I guess this was kinda selfish, after all, it could have been a batch of peppers... or strawberries... or potatoes... oh or rhubarb... oh I love rhubarb..." Whatever point the kid was /TRYING/ to make is lost when he starts fantasizing on all the food he could be eating right now.
"Beagles are hunting hounds," Jackson points out cheerfully, "but Obie's dumb as rocks he could never be a hunting dog." He tips his head to regard Mallory curiously: "-- D'you hunt?" Obie, meanwhile, is just delighted with the attention, promptly nuzzling up to Kelly and flopping over onto his back to shamelessly beg for rubbing.
Jackson considers the shrinking vine, his teeth scraping against his lip. "Ain't always easy to accept," he acknowledges, "and there's nothin' wrong with wantin' to look out for /yourself/. S'a good skill to have. We take everyone's safety pretty serious 'round here, though." A small smile tugs at his lips as he adds: "Plus right now hunger's more a danger than the dead are. An' I'm quick with a laser but I can't do much'a nothin' to grow us no crops right about now. We all help out where we can. -- An' holy cow could I go for some strawberry-rhubarb pie." He sounds so wistful. It might be a little bit of a bribe when he adds: "... which I could totally bake if we had some'a that."
"My father had a small number of English Foxhounds for hunting, but the dogs were never all that fond of me. And, ah, I was never allowed to go with them," Mallory chuckles, though her voice drops quietly for a moment, "No, that would have required them to let me interact with other people. Rather wish they would have, though, now, so I could be at least of /some/ sort of help." She shakes her head and sighs, though her expression brightens when Kelly starts playing with Obie, chuckling. Speaking in a soft tone, she nods to Kelly, "It is alright. Knowing how to care for yourself is important, and quite useful. But know that we will do what we can to keep you safe here." Her stomach growls slightly at the discussion of food, and Mallory looks apologetically exasperated, sighing, "Ss... apologies. That all sounds absolutely amazing. Haven't had a rhubarb pie in ages." Her voice takes a whistful tone for a moment, and she sighs, "Oh, wow, strawberry scones would be spectacular right now." Shaking her head, Mallory looks apologetic, "Again, apologies. Talk of food is aparently a lovely distraction right now."
Kelly didn't /mean/ to ignore the two teachers for a moment there... but did I mention OMGPUPPY!?! He has moved on to full laughing as his fingers tease, pet, and tickle said dog even devolving into baby talk of "Who's a good boy? Who's a good puppy?" before attention is brought back to the pair. "I don't know, ma'am. I think... I think doin' without parents like that's probably a good thing." He says with some conviction of his own words there. And it wouldn't take Sigmund to make the connection. "And you're both right... but I can't cook for nuthin' so... I'll get started talking to the strawberries and the rhubarb and it'll be up to you two to make 'em in to anything worth eatin'." He bargains at the end, his stomach rumbling loudly at the suggestion.
"-- Thought foxhuntin' like that was illegal," he muses, but then glances towards Mallory and adds, "/Oh/ though I guess that was recent enough when /you/ were a kid it --" He stops here with a small blush. Obie is wriggling his way half into Kelly's lap, the little beagle squirmy-happy with all the rubbing as he noses upwards to try and lick at the boy's face.
"I teach a bakin' class here," Jackson continues with more cheer. "If y'ever want t'try your hand at learning. The best part is all the homework's delicious." He laces his fingers together behind his neck, restlessly bouncing up onto the toes of his sneakers. "An' actually havin' a touch'a dessert with meals'd probably perk folks up a bit."
There's a grimace from Mallory when Jax asks about the legality of the hunts, "As of 2004, yes. It is, thankfully, illegal. I'm old enough to remember father taking the hounds out for it, though, at the very least once a month. They still use artifically set trails, but he always complained that it just wasn't the same." The last phrase is said with the hint of mocking that implies a disapproval of the sport in general, if not her father. "My parents are not kind people, no. I miss some of the creature comforts living at home afforded me, but the freedom of not having to hide what I am is well worth the trade off," she explains with a smile and a shrug. At the implication that she cook, Mallory shakes her head, laughing, "Oh, heavens no. Allowing me to cooking anything would be a waste of resources at this point - I survived unddergraduate on power bars and coffee. My kitchen skills haven't exactly improved since. I'll leave food preparation up to the experts."
Puppies are good for one thing: Completely melting Drama. So after a few good face licks from the dog, Kelly is more than happy to leave the plant fortress building to other days. "Well, maybe next semester, Mr. Jax, but you saw how many make up classes I'm having to take..." he said with an over exasperated huff. "I'm going to be in high school 'til I'm ANCIENT, like maybe even THIRTY." He says, honestly believing thirty was 'old.' It was an exaggeration of course, he wasn't likely to be THAT late a bloomer. "Oh well, George, hope you don't feel too left out." He says, picking up the other potted plant after a furious bit of puppy petting. "You guys shoulda seen what I was going to do with the thorn bush, though! It would have been /epic/."
"/Ancient/," Jackson agrees with a quick bright laugh. "Mebbe next semester. -- Obie, heel." He calls the dog back to his side once Kelly is picking up the plants. "Seems like the story of a lotta folks around here," he says to Mallory, wincing. "Ain't always the happiest origin but I think s'what makes /this/ place more'a family sometimes. Can be harder t'find 'em out there." He stoops to click Obie's leash to his collar, letting the beagle run on ahead to the end of his lead now as he lifts his chin to the others. "Y'fix me up with ingredients," he promises by way of cheerful farewell, "an' I'll fix y'all up with /all/ the pie."
A groan and a facepalm is Mallory's response to the echoed cries of 'ancient', shaking her horned head as she chuckles, "Uh huh. Yes. Heaven forfend. 30 is oh /so/ old." The mention of family gets a pause and a faint smile, "This place really is more like home than anywhere else I've been. Nicer family, too, for the most part. Though I suppose I cheated and brought the only family I had left along with me." There's a snort and a continued laugh from the librarian, as she offers a wave of farewell to Jackson and Kelly, "I will see you around. Have a good evening, the both of you."